The best shoulder exercises are more than just a necessary component of a full workout regimen; they get you one step closer to your desired V-shape. Strengthening your delts may give you the illusion of a smaller waist while adding definition to your overall physique in men, but the advantages don’t end there. Research has shown that the best shoulder exercises for men can help relieve pain and reduce the likelihood of future dislocations. Once all is said and done, you want a better body, which is reason enough to participate.
What are Your Shoulder Muscles?
Shoulder exercises if new to your training routine, shoulder exercises will quickly show that these muscles grow far faster than other body parts. Yet, this does not imply that shoulder workouts are simple. Many gymgoers dread shoulder days since the workout can be fairly intense if done correctly. To do this, we’ll walk you through the best shoulder exercises for men, but first, let’s define shoulder muscles. Your shoulder muscles are classified into two types: extrinsic muscles and intrinsic muscles. The former begins in the torso and connects to the shoulder bones, whereas the latter begins above the upper torso (scapula, clavicle) and connects to the humerus. There are a variety of specific muscles within each of these groups. These are their names:
Extrinsic Shoulder Muscles
Trapezius – These shoulder muscles, shaped like a triangle (thus the name), go down the spine and over the shoulder blade, supporting your arm and shoulder as you raise it. You have trapezius muscles on both sides of your body.
Latissimus Dorsi – This muscle’s name translates to “broadest muscle in the back,” and its anatomical shape reflects this. It aids in each arm’s extension and internal rotation and is more widely known as your “lat” muscle.
Levator Scapulae – The levator scapulae muscle, as the name indicates, helps elevate the scapula bone (shoulder bone), which connects the humerus (upper arm bone) and clavicle (collarbone).
Rhomboids – These rhombus-shaped muscles are largely responsible for scapular retraction. They are separated into left and right and are placed in the middle of your shoulder blades on your upper back.
Intrinsic Shoulder Muscles
Deltoids – This triangle-shaped muscle is placed atop the shoulder and is named after the Greek letter delta. It is divided into three major muscle fibers: anterior, middle, and posterior, which are all connected by a thick tendon. The fact that shoulder workouts are almost synonymous with working out your “delts” demonstrates this muscle’s significance. As a result, your delts serve as a foundation for activities such as arm rotation and injury prevention.
Teres Major – This small muscle travels from the armpit joint to the rear of the armpit. Teres major has gained the nickname “Lat’s little helper” due to its connection with the latissimus dorsi.
Rotator Cuff – This group of muscles and tendons is responsible for your upper arm bone from popping out of your shoulder socket frequently. The rotator cuff muscles, unsurprisingly, surround the shoulder joint.
Best Shoulder Exercises for Men
Now that we’ve gone through your shoulder muscles, it’s time to put them to use. You’ll find everything you need for your shoulders, from dumbbell shoulder press workouts to face pulls. One thing to remember: shoulder pain is one of the most prevalent causes of a visit to the physio. The shoulder is a complicated joint that must be respected, so use proper form, avoid lifting excessive weight, and consult a doctor if you feel shoulder pain that does not go away after a week or two of rest.
1. Barbell Overhead Shoulder Press
A barbell overhead shoulder press (also known as a barbell standing shoulder press) works most of your body, not just your shoulders. As a result, it’s an excellent core strengthener and mass builder, among other things. To begin,
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart and focus your core and glutes while holding a barbell at your shoulders and palms front.
- Then, lift the bar higher at the top and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Lower gradually and with care.
- Keep your core engaged to prevent your lower back from arching.
2. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The seated dumbbell shoulder press is essential for a healthy deltoid workout. Others believe these dumbbell shoulder movements are a whole deltoid routine in and of itself, targeting the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoid muscles (emphasizing the middle delts).
However, lifting two dumbbells (rather than using a machine) keeps you from choosing one side of your body over the other, resulting in firmer balance and distribution. Understandably, coordination is necessary to pull this one off, especially as the weights increase.
- To do a seated dumbbell shoulder press, first,
- Sit on a low-back bench with your hands facing front and a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level.
- Lift the dumbbells above towards each other, stopping short of touching at the top while keeping your head and spine straight.
- Maintain the position for a few seconds before gently reversing direction. Repeat.
- Remember, keep your core engaged during this action – your lower back should not arch.
3. Cable Face Pulls
Face Pulls, another shoulder exercise that demands the use of the cable muscle, are essential in developing a well-developed back and rear deltoid physique. While basic, the technique focuses on your posterior deltoids and trapezius while also stressing the key components of your shoulders. To complete the Cable Face Pulls:
- Place yourself in front of the cable machine.
- Put the cabling framework to around eye height.
- Hold either end of the rope connection and lift your arms to shoulder height.
- Pull the cable towards your face by bringing your elbows in.
- Hold and tense your back.
- Slowly exhale and repeat.
4. One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise
Like the reverse cable crossover, this shoulder exercise focuses on the middle deltoid muscles and provides plenty of stress. To begin,
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart and sideways to the cable machine. Grab the D-handle with the hand opposite the pulley.
- Raise the cable using only your arms and shoulders, keeping your abs tight and shoulders back.
- Hold your arm slightly above shoulder level for a few seconds before gently returning to the starting position.
- Repeat as needed, then swap sides. Throughout the exercise, your hand and elbow should move in sync.
5. Push Press
This shoulder exercise, a cornerstone of heavy-compound exercises, is not for beginners. However, even the professionals normally start light (sometimes with nothing but the bar), gradually increasing the weight. If you master this one, expect it to show almost everywhere on your body. The push press should be performed while standing.
Begin by placing the barbell on your upper chest, palms up, elbows pointing out, and upper arms parallel to the floor.
Drop your hips and bend your knees into a quarter squat, then lift the bar over your head with a strong push, fully extending your arms and elbows.
Return to the starting position for the following rep after a brief pause.
Keep your core and glutes engaged throughout the exercise to protect your lower back, especially at the top.
In conclusion, building a strong set of shoulders is key for any man looking to improve his overall physique and strength. The 5 best shoulder exercises for men outlined in this article, including overhead barbell press, dumbbell lateral raises, and face pulls, are some of the most effective ways to target all three heads of the shoulder muscle group. By incorporating these exercises into your regular workout routine, you can expect significant improvements in your shoulder strength, size, and overall athletic performance.